Maybe you have always been intrigued by escape rooms or maybe you are being dragged along by a friend.  Either way, don’t be intimidated or naive about what is going to unfold.  Here are some basic tips to help guide you on the path to having an excellent experience when playing for the first time.

1. Put thought into your team of players

Consider building a dream team or just keep it simple and grab some people you vibe well with.

2. Dress Comfortably

Even if it is date night or a bachelorette party, choose clothing you can easily bend and move around in and shoes that won’t hurt after over an hour of standing.

3. Keep an open mind

Try to think from a fresh perspective and don’t overcomplicate things.  Some puzzles might be straightforward while others might require more creative solutions.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for clues

The best way to keep your game moving is to ask for a clue whenever you get stuck.  If you are no longer progressing, your host will be happy to help get you back on track.  Note that some venues might invoke a penalty for hints so make sure you understand their rules.  However, a small penalty might be worth it if you have exhausted all ideas.

5. Know the game flow

The room you play could be linear, non-linear, or even something else.  In a linear room, you unlock one lock at a time sequentially.  In a non-linear room, locks don’t have to be opened in a specific order, so you’ll need to figure out the puzzles and the order in which locks open.

6. Divide and conquer

Split up and spread out. With one or two people working each section of the room, you are more likely to discover clues and puzzles.  If the team starts to lose momentum, switch areas with each other.

7. Don’t play while drunk

You might think it is a hoot, but being inebriated will not help your chances of doing well.  If anything, it will leave you frustrated because your thinking isn’t as clear.  It also could cause poor decision-making that could lead to causing damage to the room.

8. Verbalize your findings

Another player might see something that goes along with what you have found.  Speaking your thoughts and ideas could help piece together the team’s findings.

9. Create piles

In a central or convenient location, lay out everything you have found but haven’t used.  Take the pieces you have already used and put them to the side.  Most rooms use items no more than once.  There might be the exception here and there.

10. Don’t panic

If time is almost up, take a few deep breaths and refocus.  Becoming nervous can only add to the anxiety, which can lead to performing even more poorly.  Some teams escape with mere seconds on the clock.